Mitch’s Birthday Dinner: Lamb, Cauliflower, and Chocolate Pie

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Mitchell’s 26th birthday was Thursday night. Since we knew he had dek hockey and that we would be packing to head to our respective parents’ houses for the weekend on Thursday night, we decided to celebrate on Wednesday. When I asked Mitch if he would prefer to go out for his birthday or have a special meal at home, he chose a special meal. We sat down with the Skinnytaste cookbook and leafed through to build his dream birthday meal. I committed to cooking three dishes I had never tired before and two ingredients I had never used before. Surprisingly, they were all easy to assemble dishes, but the results tasted like a million dollar dinner.

This meal would not have been possible, however, without the opening of the new Fresh Thyme Farmer’s Market. They feature clean, organic products, and feature lots of fresh items and bulk purchases. While some ingredients are pricey, I have found that their sale prices actually beat the sale prices of most major grocery stores. I walked away having spent the same amount that I normally spend at the grocery store, even with the specialty item, lamb chops.

Below are the three dishes that I made. The lamb was AMAZING and so easy- I marinated it and made the sauce the night before and it was flawless and flavorful. The cauliflower mash was the perfect balance to this protein. Don’t get scared away by the tofu in the pie- it’s flavorless and delicious.


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Grilled Lamb Chops with Mint Yogurt Dipping Sauce and Cheesy Cauliflower Mash

Ingredients:

  • Lamb
    • 8 lamb loin chops, trimmed of fat (3.5 oz each bone-in)
    • 6 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
    • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
    • 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    • fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • Yogurt Sauce
    • 1 container (about 8oz) of plain, greek yogurt
    • 1 teaspoon olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon fresh mint
    • 1 tablespoon scallions, minced
    • Juice of 1 lemon
    • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
    • Salt and pepper
  • Cauliflower
    • 1 whole cauliflower, broken into florets
    • 4 cloves smashed garlic
    • 1/3 cup buttermilk
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
    • fresh black pepper, to taste
    • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives or scallions
    • 1 cup shredded cheddar

Steps:

  1. For the lamb: Combine all ingredients in a bowl, massage into lamb, cover with plastic wrap and let marinate overnight in the fridge.
  2. For the sauce: Combine all ingredients in a bowl thoroughly, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit in the refrigerator overnight.
  3. On the day of cooking:
    1. Take chops out of the fridge and bring to room temp.
    2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook cauliflower and garlic till tender (about 15 minutes).
    3. Meanwhile, preheat a grill or grill pan to medium high. Grill on each side about 4-5 minutes or until internal temp reaches 145 degrees. Remove the chops at this point and cover to let rest
    4. Drain the veggies and return to cooking pot. Add butter, buttermilk, salt and pepper, and blend with an immersion blender till smooth.
    5. Add cheese to the cauliflower and serve with chops and yogurt sauce

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(I made the fancy design with a knife)

Silky Chocolate Pie

Ingredients:

  • Crust:
    • 6 whole graham crackers, crushed
      2 tbsp sugar
      3 tbsp. cold butter
  • Filling:
    • 1 12.3-oz. package firm silken tofu
    • 1⁄4 c. milk
    • 2 tbsp. sugar
    • 5-7oz. semisweet chocolate (I went a little heavier because I love chocolate)

Steps:
1. For the crust: In a food processor, combine the crushed graham crackers, sugar, and butter. Pulse a few times, then add 1 tablespoon water (I ended up needing a second one). Pulse a few more times until it has the texture of coarse meal. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of an 8-inch pie plate. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
3. Bake the crust until the edges are golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.
4. For the filling: Lightly mash the silken tofu with a fork and place it in a blender with the milk and sugar. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute.
5. Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir and microwave another 30 to 40 seconds. Repeat until the chocolate is completely melted. You can also do this in a double-boiler on the stovetop.
6. Pour the chocolate into the blender with the tofu and blend a few seconds until thoroughly combined. Pour the filling into the cooled crust and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours. Serve chilled.

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